How does one celebrate Independence Day in a country where our President has declared all out war on the free and independent press?

Well, it’s been about three months since Alex Morris’s “Why Trump Is Not Mentally Fit to Be President” ran in Rolling Stone, and I think you’d be hard pressed to find a mental health professional to say that our President, in that time, has shown any signs of improvement. In fact, it would appear that, if anything, his narcism has grown even more malignant over this second half of his first six months in office. And, if reports are to be believed, some in D.C. are seriously considering the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlines how the sitting President, if he proves himself to be incompetent, can be removed from office. In fact, it was recently reported that two dozen Democrats had begun the process of laying the groundwork for just such a move. And, just a few days ago, Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin proposed legislation that would create an 11-member commission of physicians, psychiatrists and former high ranking government officials, called the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity, that would assess Trump’s competency. [“Raskin,” according to CNN, “is zeroing in on one section of (the 25th) amendment, which allows the Vice President to assume command if either the majority of the Cabinet or ‘such other body as Congress’ finds that the President is ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties of office.'” As others have pointed out, though, this would require that Vice President Mike Pence agree to the assessment of the group, which seems highly unlikely at present.]

And with Trump’s most recent tweet, which you can see here, it would seem that time may be of the essence.

I’m sure his supporters will say that he’s just having a little fun at the expense of CNN, which he’s taken to calling “fake news” since they truthfully reported the size of his inaugural crowd, but, make no mistake – given the context, this is an invitation to violence against our free and independent press. And it cannot be tolerated, especially at a time when Republican members of Congress are physically assaulting reporters, the head of the NRA is listing “media elites” as being among our “greatest domestic threats,” and people on the right are wearing shirts with slogans like “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.” Trump’s talk of the “lying press” (or, as Hitler would have said, “Lügenpresse”), is clearly being taken to heart by his followers, who seem to be thoroughly convinced that the Russian investigation is nothing more than a dishonest “deep state” attack against their beloved President, and I’m afraid it’s just a matter of time before we see an attack on CNN… Here, with more on that, is video of CNN contributor Ana Navarro, who, by the way, had been a lifelong Republican until Trump took over the party.

“It is an incitement to violence,” Navarro told viewers of ABC’s This Week. “He is going to get somebody killed in the media.

And Navarro wasn’t alone. Many of our elected officials came out and said what the President had done was uncalled for, potentially dangerous, etc., just like they did a few days ago, when Trump viciously attacked MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski on Twitter. But it’s not likely that the conservatives who make up Trump’s base will do anything substantive about it. I’m sure that, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, they can fool themselves into looking at something like this and saying, “The President in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary.

I mean, sure, he’s sharing video of himself punching what would appear to be a CNN representative to the ground, but it’s not a invitation to violence, right? After all, he never says, ‘Go out and kill a reporter.’ He just says that they’re liars who are keeping the truth from the American people, stopping him from making America great again, trying to put him in jail, and making all of us and our families less safe. If anyone decides to go that next step, though, and actually do something about it, well, that’s on them, right? Trump just threw the matches into the powder keg. It’s not like he actually struck one.

And, really, isn’t that what the American people want anyway? So-called ‘man of god’ Jerry Falwell Jr. just came out and said as much today. According to Falwell, this is exactly what the American people had been hungering for, “a bold leader willing to speak his mind.”

For what it’s worth, Trump today conceded that it wasn’t presidential. But he also said it didn’t matter, as he was essentially changing the definition of what it means to be presidential. “My use of social media is not Presidential,” he said in a tweet. “It’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL.” Or, put a little differently, ‘Yeah, it’s unpresidential, but fuck you. I’m resetting every political norm this country has ever known.’

And yet the Republicans stand by him, in hopes that he can accomplish what they’ve been unable to these past 75 years… the complete and total rollback of the New Deal. And, as long as he’s helping them move in that direction, he can literally do anything he wants. As he said during the campaign, he could literally shoot someone and it wouldn’t matter. There is literally no bottom.

But maybe all of this is part of the plan. Maybe he’s trying to get himself thrown out of office for being mentally unstable, as that might allow him the ability to live out his remaining days at one of his golf resorts, instead of in a federal facility. Or maybe this is all just a distraction from the stories that really matter about health care, tax reform and the Russia investigation. As David Frum‏, the senior editor of The Atlantic, said earlier today, maybe we’re just watching Trump brilliantly change the subject from his being “a Russian intelligence asset” to his being “a dangerously violent lunatic”.

Regardless of intention, he has to go, whether by way of the 25th amendment, or impeachment. We cannot allow him to keep pushing down the boundaries of what we consider to be acceptable societal norms. We cannot allow him to put us in hole that neither us, nor our children, are able to get out of. We need to stop this now. This is not normal… It is not normal for the President of the United State to tell the American people that the press is lying when they report facts about Russian interference in our election. It is not normal for the President of the United States to personally attack reporters by name. It is not normal for the President of the United States to post “funny” videos of himself physically assaulting journalists. This is all incredibly wrong, and anyone not working aggressively to stop it, is, in my opinion, an enemy of this great country we inherited from our predecessors.

But, yeah, it kind of sucks to be celebrating Fourth of July in a country where all of this is happening. How does one celebrate freedom from tyranny in a nation where freedom at every level is under assault? Personally, I intend to tell my kids that what we’re seeing right now is exactly why we celebrate the Fourth of July – to remember that we need to stay vigilant, and protect the freedoms that those who came before us fought and died for… And, then, maybe we’ll have a drink to the men and women of America’s free press, who really are on the front lines of this war to safeguard the concept truth and preserve the union.

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  1. Jean Henry
    Posted July 2, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Ezra and friends will be reading the constitution aloud and handing out free copies at the start of the Ann Arbor parade route as part of a Civ City initiative. At 8, He started a tradition of having us read the Declaration of Independence before dinner on the 4th. Like a prayer. It still contains our best idea of ourselves, one we have not yet achieved.

    This is another idea along the same lines:

    I still find most of our founding documents inspiring (and at times sobering). I think most of what we have taken for granted, not fought hard enough for in the past, and, critically, what is at risk now is in them. They are aspirational documents. They can be interpreted many ways by many people, and are. They were written by very imperfect men to found a very imperfect country, but they are fucking beautiful. and telling, And they were written as manifestos against tyranny, creating an architecture for resistance to it. One that can point us the way forward.

    Yeah, yeah, I know they were slave holders. …And we are part of a country that has engaged in the mass incarceration of black men for 30 years… And we own that. Because the constitution allows us every means out of it. But we also own that better idea of ourselves and our nation. So maybe the answer is to rebuild the integrity of our nation by re-instituting the integrity of its institutions via some old fashioned participatory democracy. That doesn’t even seem like a partisan idea to me.

    PS Trump is fine with being seen as mad by half the country, just so long as most people are diverted from paying attention to the mounting evidence that he’s criminal. I have said it before and I will say it again: Team Trump uses our sense of outrage to manipulate us– and keep the media focused on his antics instead of his policy actions and criminality.

  2. Jean Henry
    Posted July 2, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

  3. Anonymous
    Posted July 2, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Trump’s new Homeland Security Adviser Thomas Bossert, who looks like Darin on Bewitched, says “No one would perceive that as a threat” when shown the video.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted July 2, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    A vet I follow on Twitter shared this a few minutes ago: “This will be the saddest 4th of July of my life. For the 1st time I worry more than I hope. I fear for my children’s future. Yet, I resist.”

  5. Surprise Surprise
    Posted July 2, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Reddit user who claims credit for Trump’s CNN video wrote about stabbing Muslims, called a black child the n-word

  6. site admin
    Posted July 2, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a link to the Washington Post article about the Reddit user who make the video in the Trump tweet.

  7. Lynne
    Posted July 2, 2017 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    I am going to remind people that they haven’t put the final nail in the coffin yet and that we can change things if we get involved. Decent Republicans need to vote for good candidates in primaries and Dems need to do the same. Liberals and centrists are going to have to find a way to unite even if the main thing they agree on is they want Trump out. We have to get out the vote.

  8. H
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    The guy who made Trump’s wrestling meme also made a list of all of CNN’s Jewish employees for some mysterious reason

  9. Jcp2
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

  10. Citywatch
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    This should be the end…the last straw, but yesterday on the news shows even they were giving it a wink and a nod. “Oh that Donald! He is such a jokester” they implied. And so it goes. Have we brought this upon ourselves? Let’s discuss that. Take our own inventory first, then take some action.

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

  12. Demetrius
    Posted October 19, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    NYT: ‘That’s My Kind of Guy,’ Trump Says of Republican Lawmaker Who Body-Slammed a Reporter

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] past July, in a post about our President’s war on the free and independent press, I shared the following quote from CNN contributor, and lifelong Republican, Ana Navarro, who had […]

  2. […] Republican voters that he never said what he said, and all of this is nothing more than the ‘lying press’ trying to keep him from saving America and getting the credit which is so rightfully […]

  3. […] Republican voters that he never said what he said, and that all of this is nothing more than the ‘lying press’ trying to keep him from saving America and getting the credit which is so rightfully his. We […]

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